thanks to bill kristol, january than la mere. that does it for our hour. i'm nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" starts now. >> hi there, nicolle. in it's monday, forever is going to start tonight. tonight a total eclipse of the presidency? >> i think the president failed to meet the standard that we would have expected a president to do in a time like that. >> after charlottesville, president trump tried to turn the page, but changing the subject won't change the divisions in the republican party. plus, after slamming the war in afghanistan on the campaign trail. >> wasted six trillion dollars on wars in the meelgds east. we could have rebuilt our country twice. >> president trump will address the nation tonight on the path forward. and challenging the first
amendment. should extremist groups have the right to rally? we'll delve into the power and pitfalls of free speech. this is m pt daily and it starts right now. good evening. i'm katy terr in new york in for chuck todd. it was a remarkable day and it promises to be a remarkable night. today the country saw a celestial spectacle. tonight they'll get something of a political one. in less than four hours president trump will address the nation at fort meyer in nearby arlington, virginia. tonight is being billed as a major announcement about the path forward in afghanistan, but this is a president who rarely sticks to the skipt, especially when he's got something on his mind. which begs the question, why this and why now? the timing of this address isn't
lost on anyone. if there ever was a moment for this president to turn the page, it's right now. this is a president that stands on perilous ground. we're nearly a week out from the president's comments about charlottesville and republicans are still denouncing what he said and still questioning the future of his presidency. >> i think in my view that the president's comments about both sides were a mistake, and they shouldn't have been said. and i certainly wouldn't have said them and i don't say them today and i don't agree with them and i don't adopt them. >> the president had a moral obligation to speak with absolutely clarity from the very beginning and stick with that, not shift back and forth. >> do you think elend up the party's nominee in 2020. >> it's too difficult to say. >> arizona republican senator jeff flake today renewed his attacks on the president's rhetoric. he suggested it was built on anger and hatred. he also dismissed the president's attacks, calling him
a toxic nonfactor in the
senate. the senate's top republican, mitch mcconnell today seemed to take a shot at the president when he told the chamber of come measures louisville, kentucky, that, quote, most news is not fake. at the same time voters in three states that won mr. trump the white house say they have a dim view of his abilities as commander in chief. according to a new nbc news marist poll the president's job approval is just 36% in michigan, 35% in pennsylvania and 34% in wisconsin. in each state roughly two-thirds of voters say they're embarrassed by his conduct as president compared to just a quarter who say they're proud of it. but if tonight's prime time address is meant to unite the country in some kind of common purpose as most are, then why is he following it up with a campaign style rally in arizona tomorrow? officials there are bracing for massive protests and possible clashes as the president
considers pouring fuel on the fire by pardoning sheriff joe arpaio, facing jail time stemming from a racial profiling case. joining me now from the white house is nbc's kristen welker. so nice to see you. so you could call this the president's first formal address to the nation since february. why is he doing it now and why is he doing it on this subject? . >> hey, there, katy. good to see you too. i think the timing, as you pointed out, obviously he wants to turn the page from some of those very difficult headlines and controversial headlines he's been dealing with domestically. but this is something that has long been in the works. how is the president going to move forward in afghanistan. he's had a number of briefings and discussions about this. and then, of course, he had that big discussion with his national security team, his defense secretary on friday at camp david. during that meeting he was presented a series of options. everything from a total withdrawal to adding about 4,000
more troops to afghanistan. so what do we expect him to announce tonight? well, we anticipate he's going to call for a modest increase in troop levels. he may not get specific, katy, but i do think it's important to focus on that 4,000 figure. we think that that will likely be the cap, at least at this point in time. then i think you're going to hear him talk about the broader strategy, about trying to get officials in pakistan to stop providing a safe haven for taliban fighters and also to do a better job of training afghan forces so that they can defend themselves. he also might talk about more commitment from some of the united states nato allies. this is obviously a shift in the president's thinking from when he feels a candidate. as you pointed out he campaigned he a promise to get out of these wars in the middle east. but of course, now he is facing the reality of what's happening on the ground. and caty, for the past several months he's been showing the gains that the taliban and other troechlt groups have been making and so that is what's at the
root of this decision. a lot of the issues and challenges that his predecessors had he is now facing and he's trying to deal with the reality of that. >> kristen, it's been a tough week for the president. last week was a tough week for the president. what's the mood in the white house right now? >> well, i think they are very focused. they're in a lot of meetings,ic tell you, throughout the day. and they're being very tight lipid about this announcement by the president. we haven't gotten a briefing yet. they really want the president to take the lead. you heard defense secretary james mattis talk about that over the weekend. he said i'm not going to get ahead of the commander in chief. i want him to make this announcement. so i do think there is a sense of focus, particularly as they have had such a tough couple of weeks. all those headlines they've been dealing with, charlottesville and then of course the crisis in north korea two weeks ago. so they're looking at this as a reset in terms of foreign policy but i think also looking to turn the pam on some of those very difficult headlines, katy. >> kristen, thank you very much.
i'm joined now by republican congressman lee zelden of new york, who is also a member of the house foreign affairs committee. long man, always lovely to see you. i want to talk about the poll numbers that we just ran through, those nbc news marist poll numbers that show his fairchlt in michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsin dropping pretty precip tusel. are you concerned about that? >> well, the president certainly needs to continue to get the message out to the american people about what victories he gets under his belt and with what's ahead in the weeks and months forward. a lot of people who if you ask them what's the top issue to you, they want to see the economy growing. the economy has been. they would like to see tax reform and they also want to know how tax reform will benefit them. they want their country safe. they want to see us protected not just from attacks here at home, our veterans better taken care of, more legislation passing.
the president has signed dozens of bills into law. people have other priorities they'd like to see passed going forward. and as that happens and as the economy kbroous and people are safe, he'll see the numbers go up. that's not the only aspect, obviously, of doing a job of president of the united states. there are other ways that he can get higher poll numbers. and, you know, that will come from, you know, the way he approaches his presidency in the weeks and months ahead to broaden his coalition. >> congressman, are you concerned about your support and your district given those numbers out of michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsin after all those are states that he flipped and your district is an area that voted for president obama before it voted for president trump? >> yeah. well, president trump -- i'm not familiar with those polls in those other states. >> we just played them. i can give them to you again if you'd like. michigan, 64% say they're impair embarrass bd i the president. pennsylvania 63% say they're
embarrassed by the president, wisconsin, of 4% say they're embarrassed by the president. >> when i say i'm not familiar with those polls, i heard that. as far as my own district, you know, we've done our polling here in eastern long island. this is a district that the president won by like 14.5 points. the points that you're providing from those other states are definitely not the poll numbers coming in on the east end of long island. but the point is certainly well taken that, you know, this is a country of 50 diverse states, and often within a state there's a very diverse population. as you go from, you know, maybe one region that has a very democratic congressional district to other region that has a very republican congressional district. this president represents all people. he just needs to work on delivering and people will be happy with that. >> congressman, it's been more than a week since charlottesville and the president has had a few
iterations of his statement regarding charlottesville since then but he's still getting a lot of plow back even from members of your own party. we had ben sasse the senator from nebraska that he understands the character of this nation. tim scott the president's moral authority is compromise the. susan collins, it's too difficult to say if he'll be the nominee in 2020. specifically susan collins saying today that she's not sure if he's going to be running or he'll be the nominee or whether he'll be primaried in 2020. what's your reaction to that? >> well, i think president trump and senator collins are in many respects they have been on the opposite side of the political spectrum -- >> what about bob corker. >> that's not the first time senator corker has made a statement like that -- >> it's the first time he's gone
that far certainlyel when he says he's not sure the president demonstrates who this country is. i mean, that's farther than he's gone ever. >> yeah. that's true. senator corker made a statement a few months. he said the white house was in a downward spiral. you know, for the president as we look at the state of our nation right now in charlottesville specifically last weekend, any opportunity that he has to condemn in the strongest possible terms the kkk and nazism and all their evil and bit on thery and hatred which is unwelcome, unamerican and wrong, he needs to do so. there is no moral equivalent lanes between those who associates with those groups and those who don't. that has to be clear. we don't want, whether it's the -- go ahead. >> i'm sorry to interrupt. regarding there's no moral equivalency. you had a facebook statement last week which some said committed just that, a moral equivalency. you said antifa buzzed in
criminals with bats and pepper spray for the purpose of committing acts of violence targeting anyone who was part of the protest against charlottesville bringing down the statue of robert e. lee, whether associated with the kkk or nazism were neither. there is an element of our country that has pledged to resist and oppose and obstruct this president on entirely on absolutely everything. that they won't criticize as long as he is in the office. he was to serve in last november. the protests in charlottesville wasn't about the president. it was the statue of robert e. lee. so the protestors that were there to protest were there to protest the hate groups that came out to pretest the premooufl of that statue. am i wrong. >> well, first off, i'll reirlt ate there is no -- >> so do you not stand by that statement any more, congressman. >> no. i completely do. and there were people who showed up who had -- who showed up with baseball bats and pepper spray and you have reporters, you know, whether it's "the new york
times" reporter who tweeted about how what she said the hard left showed up to be just as violent assist the alt-right. those are her words, not mine. the rich manned daily -- the dispatch reporter who tweeted about being punched by one of the antifa protestors. i'm sorry, in the use of pepper spray and, you know, and having bats to be violent. i mean, this is -- i'm just talking about what reporters were putting out. i wasn't there. so to say that there were people who showed up to counterprotest and all of them had peaceful purposes, but again, i don't want that to be taken in any way, shape or form as suggesting that there's a moral equivalency. there isn't. but there were people who showed up to counterprotest who did show up for the purpose of being violent and that's not something i will support. >> congressman lee zelden. congressman, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> and let's bring in tonight's
panel. brett, i want to start with you. a lot of republicans are still harpg on the president's response to charlottesville. those are some pretty damning statements from a number of republicans across the republican spectrum. tim scott, susan collins, bob corker, ben sasse. remember, bob corker was almost one of donald trump's -- well, was in contention for donald trump as vice president and secretary of state. is he facing a fraction within his party that he won't be able to mend? >> well, i wish he were, but i doubt it, because of the -- i am just thinking of the history of the "access hollywood" tape. you were how many republicans stepped back, denounced him, said this was unacceptable,
withdrew their endorsements, and within weeks they were back in his corner. the problem politically for republicans is that there is enough of a fraction of the gop base that is going to support president trump no matter what, ask they live in fear of that base. but the deeper problem is a moral problem. with very few exceptions people like jeff flake of arizona and ben sasse, very far of them have any kind of moral backbone, any kind of spine. i mean, that's a political problem at large, but it happens to be the republican party right now because they're asking themselves whether they want to be judged by the next election or whether they're going to be judged by history. and that's the crux where they are, the cruiseible where they found themselves now. >> so nothing changes. >> look, i think they have a problem of kind of a sflom by presidency here. in the absence of any evidence that the president is impeachable for some reason, he's going to be in office for three more years. the and the power of the presidency is vast, even a hobbled presidency.
with president trump a republican they get the appointments to the courts, they get the roll back of regulations, they get a vast swath of things that they want for their agenda. and the problem for them is to decide if they want that thing or to go all in against him on principle because of his association with nationalists. >> they're also not getting any legislation done. >> right. >> they are getting the supreme court seat, which they had wanted for quite a while. they might get another if something else happens on the court. is that enough for them to, as brett was saying, have their names essentially did he filed in the history books or revield? >> not if they don't want to be looked at by the historians in the future as the party who sided with the clan. and i think we were just here last week wondering if president trump's remarks on monday were really what he actually felt in his heart. and i think that what we saw on tuesday was really what he thinks in his heart. >> a reversal from monday. >> and do we think that republicans all agree with that
because they shouldn't want racists to vote for them. actually, we should have republicans if they have real leadership they should come out and say i don't want neo-nazis in my party, i don't want klan members in my party. i think that's the moral judgment that they should be making at this moment. >> so tonight he's going to make an announcement about afghanistan and some folks are questioning the timing of it and the subject matter. and this is something that, you know, it's a military conflict. it's something athat changes the subject significantly from what the national dialogue has been about up until now. is it right to be skeptical of the president's timing? >> timing is largely political. and i can understand why. and in fact, it would be justified to make the announcement if the president had the grace and in fact the political intelligence to apologize for the nature of his comments on tuesday. he's just -- >> he's never apologized. he apologized once about the "access hollywood" tape and even then it was under duress. >> even though it was through
gritted teeth. a jack eland hide presidency. you're going to see one presidency, the one you'll see tonight, the one you saw during the scripted statement over the weekend or was it monday from before the tuesday -- >> monday and then the tuesday press conference. >> press conference of the doctor jekyll presidency that is essentially managed by people like general kelly, secretary mattis and so on. but the real trump always emerges. and the thing about a presidency is a presidency, for better or worse, reveals character. and that's what we're getting with trump. >> does anything change with bannon gone? >> i don't believe so. steve bannon is going back to breitbart. he's going to attack the people that he sees, the globalists, whether it be ivanka and jared, the people that are working against the agenda that he fought trump to implement. all it might do is perhaps as you said make it a little bit more moderate and he's going to follow the generals that are around him. >> you know, if you go back and
you look at the campaign before steve bannon signed on, he signed on in august of 2016. donald trump was saying controversial statement after controversial statement. one of the my reporting notes from the night he won south carolina and it was a litany of remarkable things that he said that would have sunk any other candidate. as we know from josh green's book, bannon was talking to him on the phone and advising him informally before that. so we will see if anything changes. guys, we're going to have you come back a little bit later in the hour, so please stick around. coming up, recapping the event eclipsing politics across the country today. plus, the president will lay out the next steps in for the war -- next steps, excuse me, for the war in afghanistan. what it means for the strategy and the politics of america's longest war. that's ahead. it's ok that everybody ignores me when i drive. it's fine. because i get a safe driving bonus check every six months i'm accident free. because i don't use my cellphone when i'm driving. even though my family does, and leaves me all alone.
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recently, you probably know that today was eclipse day. and even politicians got excited. president trump celebrated this as troe no, ma'am cal occasion by viewing it are from the truman balcony at the white house with the first lady. but as many have pointed out, it looks like he broke the one rule of eclipse viewing, don't look at the sun without your eclipse glasses. some other lawmakers got in on today's festivities also. here is senator lindsey graham prepping for the big moment. and senator sasse throwing some serious shade. jrj bush looked on with four generations of their family. senator steve daines experienced the eclipse with va secretary shul can in montana. senator murkowski was in a permafrost tunnel in alaska. the and in kansas senator more an showed us that that black squirrel statues are ready with
their eclipse shades. senator king celebrated with a ride on his motorcycle. senator coons peered through a telescope. who knows, maybe some of those senators could be on the ballot for the next solar eclipse in 2024. we're back with more "mtp daily" in 60 seconds. a penny has never been more valuable. it's our back to school one cent event at office depot office max. 10 pack pens, one cent. composition notebooks,scissors, and plastic folders all one cent each! hurry to office depot office max. ♪taking care of business.
there's nothing more important so when i need to book a hotel, i want someone who makes it easy. booking.com gets it. and with their price match, i know i'm getting the best price every time. visit booking.com. booking.yeah! welcome back. as we've been talking about, president trump is set to deliver a prime time speech tonight from fort meyer in arlington, v on america's path forward in afghanistan and south asia. after 16 years afghanistan is america's longest war. u.s. forces have been there since 2001. and trump is now the third president to grapple with the situation. during a tense meeting last month the president reportedly grew frustrated with his advisers working on the afghanistan strategy, suggesting that the u.s. was, quote, losing there and that the commander of u.s. forces in afghanistan be
replaced. back in 2013 when he was a private citizen trump tweeted that the u.s. should, quote, leave afghanistan immediately. no more wasted lives. if we have to go back in, we go in hard and quick. rebuild the u.s. first. but tonight he's expected to announce a new strategy that could include a deployment of as many as thousands of more troops to the country. joining me now is retired four-star u.s. army general and former nato supreme allowed commander wesley clark. general, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> obviously a lot has changed in the last 16 years. what are the challenges right now? >> well, the challenge right now is the taliban is actually growing in strength despite our billions of dollars spent on training the afghan army. the afghan army is taking lots of casualties, sometimes as many as 20 per day on average. so we're chewing up the afghan
army forces faster than we can build experience and combat capability. and that's because pakistan is still supporting the insurgery i because it doesn't want a stable western oriented afghan government. >> so how deal with pakistan? >> well, you've got to deal with pakistan. and this is going to be the interesting thing about what the president says. how do you deal with pakistan, because they are a nuclear power. they have been in the past a traditional u.s. ally as well as an ally of china. we used to do troop exercises with pakistan back in the 1970s and 80s. so we used tob pakistan really well and we used pakistan to build up the mujahideen to fight the soef yets when they were in pakistan. pakistan has kept its long tentacles out to afghanistan. do you cut off aid, threaten it? it's a nation of almost 200 million people. it's a big, powerful nation with lots of support from our allies
like saudi arabia and our friends in the gulf. and so we do worry about how to effectively maneuver pakistan out of support for the rebls or the taliban in afghanistan. and so far no administration has figured out how to do this. >> so is the president right when he says we're losing the war in afghanistan? and if he is right, what does winning look like? >> well, i think we're basically in there for intelligence purposes to prevent the emergence of ungoverned spaces in which a new terrorist entity like an isis could take form and then muster resources to threaten u.s. interests elsewhere in the world. so we're in there for our own purposes right now. but the afghan government that we're supporting is not able to maintain control of all the province and districts in the country. and that's why people say we're losing those privilege insz or those districts are one by one suck cumming to taliban attack
as the afghan and security forces tumble away. there's loads of corruption underneath that and there's really questions as to whether you could ever have a unified government throughout all of afghanistan, honestly because it's tribal and it's never had pay strong central government. that's our model and what we've proposed. if you're going to win in afghanistan what it really means is you're not going to kill everybody who is resisting you. they're just going to fade into the woodwork. they're going to go back to being local people in afghanistan. some of them may flee to pakistan, but most of them will go to dpround so to speak. and what you're going to have is an absence of resistance, but that means it can only come about when pakistan primarily but also iran and the russians and maybe the chinese even stop feeding resources and advice and training and weaponry into the struggle. >> general, i want to get two more questions in, so hopefully we can do this quickly. 4,000 more troops. we've got 8,400 there.
if the president announces that he wants to send 4,000 more, does that make a difference? >> yeah, it makes a marginal difference, sure. it means that you can -- >> can you win the war with that? >> no, no, you're not going to win the war militarily. you're going to win it dimt matically. >> secondly, is there anything to this idea that some are throwing out there that there needs to be some negotiation with some members of the taliban, the less radical members of the taliban? >> i think that's absolutely essential. i think you've got to fight, fight, talk, talk on something like this. and so the quicker we get started talking, learning their issues, knowing who they are, trying to split them up and maybe even coming up with a solution that's a sz sooez fire and ends the killing. >> thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you.
and msnbc will bring you full coverage of the president's remarks tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. still ahead, after charlottesville, one of the nation's biggest defenders of free speech is taking some heat for who it chooses to defend. i'll talk with a lawyer from the aclu about a new policy next. as easy as saving $600 when you switch to progressive. winds stirring. too treacherous for a selfie. [ camera shutter clicks ] sure, i've taken discounts to new heights with safe driver and paperless billing. but the prize at the top is worth every last breath. here we go. [ grunts ] got 'em. ahh. wait a minute. whole wheat waffles? [ crying ] why! wait a minute. whole wheat waffles? you don't let anything lkeep you sidelined. come on! that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein, and 26 vitamins and minerals... for the strength and energy, to get back to doing what you love. ensure, always be you.
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we're actually watching history being made. >> it's the most amazing thing i've ever seen. >> holy guacamole. >> it's incredible to be here amongst all these people and for everybody to come together to see this i think is incredible. >> they liked it. they really liked it. that right there just some of the reaction across the country to today's historic solar eclipse. but did that cast a shadow on the markets? dear dri has the answer for us in today's cnbc market wrap. >> hi, katy. well, it might have corps companies in lost productivity, but the markets, they faired okay. in fact, stocks closed mostly higher on wall street. the dow adding 29 points, the s&p gaining 2 points and the nasdaq losing 3 points. in corporate stories fee i can't tell chrysler rose 7% says it is considering making an offer to buy its jeep unit. walmart is expanding its grocery
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join energy upgrade california and do your thing. welcome back. over the weekend the debate over free speech rajd on. a conservative group called boston free speech organized a rally in the city. ali organizers say their event was not intended for white supremacists, neo-nazis or the kkk, and while dozens turned out for that event, an estimated 40,000 counterprotestors swarmd boston common and spilled out into the streets. the counter demonstrations believe the free speech event was a thinly veiled way to shield hate groups in the wake of the deadly crash in sharltsville. the aclu helped the unite the right group obtain a protest permit in charlottesville and says it will continue to consider requests from hate groups seeking legal help to
protest. but now the group which fiercely dmends everyone's right to free speech and the right to protest is saying they will no longer defend hate groups who want to protest with firearms. but some critics on both the left and the right say it's time for the aclu to rethink how they defend the fist amendment. a recent on the part ed in "the new york times" argues, quote, sometimes standing on the right side of history in defense of a cause you think is right is still just standing on the wrong side of history. chuck todd spoke with the author of that credit eke, kay sue park. >> historically we haven't achieved a democracy that protects all speech equally and freely, even if the first amendment has been applied to lots of different groups in an attempt to provide equal representation. >> lee roland is a senior staff attorney with the american civil lint union's speak and policy technology project and she joins me now. lee, that new york times on the
part ed also goes on to say priority sizing the first amendment rights could make the distribution of power in this country even more unequal and silence the community's most burden end by history's of sensor ship. do you agree or disagree. >> well, probably with that statement i can't say i agree because we've been through an entire century where we've seen the first amendment play out. and i'd like to this i that the moral arc of the universe or the aleast our country is closer to justice than it was when we began decades ago. and we did that with a robust first amendment, right, and nobody could say that the lines of the civil rights struggle didn't overcome the kind of power imbalance and structures of racism and oh pregnancy that people are pointing to today. so i actually, with all due respect to that critic and others, i think, frankly, it's asking the wrong question. >> what is the right question?
>> the right question is what do first amendment principles look like on the ground in our new factual reality? and i think that's something we'll have to grapple with and i think charlottesville is an important turning point for those of us who do free speech work to think long and hard about whether or not we're going to represent groups who effectively seek to use the first amendment, to wield it as a weapon of armed revolt s. that's not what we're about at the aclu. that's not what the first amendment is about and it never has been. the question now is how do we effect wait these really fabulous principles, the principles that all of us can speak truth to matter no matter whether we're trying to change the status quo in your eyes or my eyes and still do that in a way that lifts up all voices. and i know that i believe that defending armed groups who are hoping for a violent confrontation -- and by the way, that's regardless of whether they're white supremacists or not, but people hoping for a
violent confrontation are not heroes of the first amend. and i do think there's a risk that if the acl ru starts representing people who are more and more heavily armed that it depresses free speech in the long run, right, because nobody wants to leave the house or go to a protest with their five-year-old and that's the world that they want to live in. >> isn't those who are heavily armed trying to use that as an excuse for violence? after all what happened in charlottesville that resulted in a woman dead was somebody using a car. that person wasn't armed that we know of. they weren't using a firearm or brandishing a firearm. they used their car. >> that's absolutely right. but nonetheless i think charlottesville shows the kind of escalation that can happen when people show up armed for a conflict, right, and doing so under the guise of free speech. that's a new reality. we do have an ascend ent white supremacy in this country that echoes all the way to the halls of the white house. and we need to recollect niez that reality each as we maintain
our principled defensive speech no matter what you believe. even if you call for a horrific future, that would mean fewer rights for someone like me or for other people of color or marginal iced community. where i think we need to draw the line is making sure we're not a smoke screen for creating violent conflict in the streets. that's not what the first amendment is about and we're wanted going to help it go there. >> are you still deciding whether or not you're going to defend some groups that are carrying weapons? are you going to delineate between conservative groups that carry weapons and liberal groups that carry weapons? >> no. >> is it going to be only nazis and neo-nazis can't carry women's. >> no. the answer is no. >> okay. >> we define it by intent, right, and if people are carrying women's hoping for violence those are not our cliepts, null stop. what it's going to be is what is the intent of your rally, right. i could see a lot of peaceful patriots fighting for second
amendment rights all bringing guns that aren't loaded. those might be people we might represent. if what they're doing is pet itting a permit so gather en masse to put their hands on their holsters, stair someone full inches from their face and scream p i don't believe in your right to exist while fingering their trigger. that's someone that's not our client and i think we need to make damn sure before going there. >> thanks so much. >> thanks for having me. >> and just ahead, is the secret service strapped for cash?
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it puts a hunger in your heart to want to know more. welcome back. the secret service is dealing with an increased workload this administration and according to usa today that is part of why they may not be able to pay hundreds of agents. secret service directors techs ailes told usa today more than 1,000 agents have already hit federally mandated caps on salary and overtime allowances. under president trump 42 people have secret service protection, compared to 31 people during the obama administration administration. president trump also traveled to his homes in new jersey, florida and virginia almost every week of his presidency. the secret service put out a statement reading, quote, this issue is not one that can be attributed to the current administration's protection requirements alone, but rather
has been an ongoing issue for nearly a decade due to an overall increase in operational tempo. the secret service is working with federal agencies and congress to pass legislation to allow more funding for agents. house and senate members from both parties put out statements today announcing they are working on a legislative fix. we'll be right back. let's see, there are the wildcats 'til we die weekenders. the watch me let if fly. this i gotta try weekenders. then we've got the bendy... ... spendy weekenders. the tranquility awaits. hanging with our mates weekenders and the it's been quite a day... ...so glad we got away weekenders. whatever kind of weekender you are, there's a hilton for you. book your weekend break direct at hilton.com and join the weekenders. and it's also a story mail aabout people and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business
it's our back to school beeone cent evente. at office depot office max. 10 pack pens, one cent. composition notebooks,scissors, and plastic folders all one cent each! hurry to office depot office max. ♪taking care of business. but the president's national security team, look, i'm a critic of the president, but i think the national security team is solid. >> yeah. >> and so i expect to hear in some significant detail tonight and then we're going to be kicking the tires about it which we kopt back in september. >> welcome back. it's time for "the lid." guys, let's talk a little bit more about afghanistan and the troubles that the president might face there. steve bannon now out of the white house. breitbart's headline today comes from a quote from michael lesson, formerly of politico
playbook now of axios. says trump's afghan plan not winning will you tell not losing either. it's no secret that steve bannon was not a fan of sending was no more troops into afghanistan. how much is he going to have to contend with breitbart now that bannon's no longer there? >> probably quite a bit. although bannon said he'll go after the president's enemies, the globalist wing as he calls it, of the white house. but look, the president achieved a certain bond with his voters, i think on the right, by being the first republican to say, this war is stupid. the war in afghanistan is a waste of time and money. and i think that was a source of his power in the primary, frankly. and now he's going to learn what every other president who has had this war on his plate has learned, a war that we can't seem to win and don't want to lose, and there's no great solution to it. >> does that hurt his base? is that problematic for him? >> it depends on how he sells
it. i don't know if i'm worried about it, but it will be interesting to see what he says this evening. just to say we're going to increase the troop strength to, what, 12,000 troops, a road to victory, is a road to sort of acknowledging, we really have no plan. it's going to be mopped. if you were really honest with the american people, he would say, look, as you just pointed out, this is a war that we can't afford to lose, because every time we've walked away from afghanistan, bad things have followed. that's what happened after 1989, and our withdrawal of support from the mujahadin, how we got to 9/11. but we're not going to win it anyway. so we're going to have this long shadow war, and it's an inconclusive result but it's a war that we don't want to do enough to win, but we don't quite want to lose. >> general clark was on the air a moment ago saying you really
have to go into pakistan and deal with what's happening there, and how they're propping up many of the bad elements of afghanistan. but he also said something that would have been unthinkable 16 years ago. find a way to negotiate with aspects of the taliban. if donald trump comes out and says we're going to try and find, not to say that he is, but if he were to come out and say we're going to find some taliban leaders to try to make a deal with in this country, is there any -- who in this country would accept that? >> i don't know, actually. because i think that in terms of the specifics, of how that would actually go about, i don't know that donald trump understands enough of the ins and outs of the policies to make that point. what i'm listening for tonight is specifics. i don't just want to hear the number of troops you're sending, i want to hear specifics about what they're going to be doing and what ends they're trying to reach in afghanistan. i think that donald trump not understanding the history of what we've been doing there, and all of the ins and outs of the
policy is -- i'm going to say, it worries me. when you have so many generals surrounding the president and he's giving them advice, he needs to distill that advice and make a decision. if you don't understand the ins and outs of the policy, how are you going to be able to do that. >> we just played it on the air a moment ago, he doesn't trust the president but trusts his national security team. is that how many are feeling on capitol hill about how the president approaches this war? >> look, the center right and center left position in afghanistan is stick around, keep a force on the ground, don't pull out. >> never-ending, you're just there forever? >> that's the problem. >> how do you justify that to the military families? >> it's not a terrible policy if you're not losing large amounts of troops, if you are mainly in a training and assistance role for afghan army that -- >> but doesn't that -- don't we risk in the middle east being seen as invaders, constantly as
occupiers, as meddling in the interests? >> i was in afghanistan just a few years ago. people understand what happens when the taliban takes over. just today in "the new york times," you had a story of a taliban taking over another district, bad things happen, especially to women. there's good moral justification for us to remain in afghanistan and make sure that it doesn't revert to the middle ages where it was in the 1990s. that's the case that can honestly be put to the american people so long as you're not losing 50, 100 troops a month. >> are they going to send mercenaries? >> it seems that option was foreclosed. one source told me one reason bannon left is that option being closed. >> at one point they thought they were winning that argument against mattis, and mcmaster. >> it's one more sign of how bannon's absence in the white house is going to cost his viewers something. it doesn't make sense to me at all.
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the beginning of the apocalypse, doom's day for president trump, birds would go silent. it seems like we made it out relatively unscathed. but one big thing did go silent today, big ben. in case you missed it, it's going to be a lot quieter in london for a little while. those very loud bells tolling in my ear were the final hourly tolls for the next four years. it's tolled every hour for pretty much the last 150 years. and now it needs some repairs. so the world's most famous clock will go mostly silent. so it will still ring on new year's and on veterans day. a historic day, but having nothing to do with the eclipse. just a coincidence.
that's all for tonight. we'll be back tomorrow with more "mtp daily." the president's address to the nation on the future of the afghanistan strategy. meanwhile, the ba"the beat with melber" starts right now. i apologize to you. the horrible sounds you heard a couple of offices down from you earlier today, i'm sorry, that was me singing bonnie tyler's total eclipse of the heart. i apologize. >> good music can bring in any -- >> it wasn't good. ear splitting and painful. >> thank you, katy. >> thanks. a total eclipse is very rare. especially in politics. president trump began his first work week without steve bannon today and got a taste of bannon taking shots from outside the castle. signs the pressure will continue on his